1. Will Missouri avoid more disappointment?

After a stunning loss to Vanderbilt, what has changed in one week that can prevent a similar debacle against Kentucky? Missouri coach Barry Odom was undefeated against the Commodores as a head coach heading to Nashville last Saturday. Odom is winless against the Wildcats at the helm heading to Lexington. Another loss to Kentucky only further defines this team for the wrong reasons. Most Missouri fans thought a 5-3 record with Georgia and Florida still on the schedule would be disappointing. That’s exactly what Missouri has to try and avoid.

2. Will the Tigers cut down on penalties?

One of the main reasons Vanderbilt hung with Missouri, much less won, was the Tigers kept shooting themselves in the foot. MU committed a dozen penalties for 120 yards, both season highs. That comes after committing only two penalties for 26 yards in the win over Mississippi. The infractions came in several different forms, with personal fouls and false starts abounding. Where do the Tigers cut down on the mistakes that could either bring Kentucky closer to scoring or make it harder for themselves to do so? Missouri will have to find some level of control.

3. Does Missouri’s offensive line see an uptick in chemistry?

The Tigers scored 14 points against a Vanderbilt team that gave up 31 points to Ole Miss, 34 to UNLV and 66 to LSU. While the blame should be widespread, the first filter for the MU offense having success is up front. The offensive line was often outplayed against Vanderbilt. While some struggles fall on changing personnel throughout the game, it’s Week 9. The line should effectively communicate no matter who is to the right and left. How does the unit bounce back after being viewed for much of this season as one of the Tigers' strongest position groups?

4. Can the MU defense continue to carry its weight?

In Missouri’s six games since the season opener, its defense really hasn’t had a breakdown. MU has allowed points, sure, but it hasn’t completely collapsed in almost two months. Any defensive problems coming out of the loss to Vanderbilt were under a microscope because of the low-scoring, close nature of the game. If Missouri cut down mistakes elsewhere and won, there wouldn’t be much talk about how the defense played in Nashville. Can the Tigers continue that momentum on defense as their offensive counterparts try to find a spark?

5. Does the outside noise actually affect Missouri?

A thrashing of the Missouri program raged on social media after the loss to Vanderbilt. Odom is at least somewhat aware based off one of his answers during his Tuesday news conference. Regardless of how baseless any calls are for Odom’s job or for starters to be replaced, they exist and don’t come without reaction. The best way for MU to calm those remarks: winning.